CHAPTER XXVII. THE DACHSHUND

“Ptero,” as he was called, was a big, light red dog, with wonderful fore-quarters and great muscular development. He also possessed what is called a “punishing jaw” and rather short ears, and looked a thorough “business” dog. He had an almost unbroken series of successes at shows in England, and being taken to Germany (in the days before the quarantine regulations), he took the highest honours in the heavy-weight class, and a special prize for the best Dachshund of all classes. This dog became the favourite sire of his day and the fashionable colour.

The black and tan thereupon went quite out of favour, and this fact, coupled with the reckless amount of inbreeding of red to red that has been going on since Ptero's day, accounts largely for the prevalence of light eyes, pink noses, and bad-coloured coats of the Dachshunds, as a class, to-day.

There are, strictly speaking, three varieties of Dachshund—(a ) the short-haired, (b) the long-haired, and (c) the rough-haired.

Of these we most usually find the first-named in England, and they are no doubt the original stock. Of the others, though fairly numerous in Germany, very few are to be seen in this country, and although one or two have been imported the type has never seemed to appeal to exhibitors.

Both the long-haired and rough-haired varieties have no doubt been produced by crosses with other breeds, such as the Spaniel and probably the Irish Terrier, respectively.

In the long-haired variety the hair should be soft and wavy, forming lengthy plumes under the throat, lower parts of the body, and the backs of the legs, and it is longest on the under side of the tail, where it forms a regular flag like that of a Setter or Spaniel. The rough-haired variety shows strongly a terrier cross by his “varmint” expression and short ears.

The Germans also subdivide by colour, and again for show purposes by weight. These subdivisions are dealt with in their proper order in the standard of points, and it is only necessary to say here that all the varieties, colours, and weights are judged by the same standard except in so far as they differ in texture of coat. At the same time the Germans themselves do not regard the dapple Dachshunds as yet so fixed in type as the original coloured dogs, and this exception must also apply to the long and the rough haired varieties.

The following German standard of points embodies a detailed description of the breed:—

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